Farm Aid just released a report, Rebuilding America’s Economy with Family Farm-Centered Food Systems, that works to make the economic case for family farming. The report holds it's own set of extensive references and endnotes.
From the report comes this quick story:
The state of Michigan has ranked poorly in economic and public health indicators for decades. Importantly, much of the $1.9 billion worth of fresh fruits and vegetables consumed by Michigan residents comes from outside the state, despite the fact that state farmers produce the second-widest variety of farm products nationwide, just behind California. The authors estimate that Michigan farmers could generate almost 2,000 new jobs and $200 million in new income if they sell up to three times more fresh produce via in-state direct and wholesale markets. This scenario assumes no necessary shift in production, just the impact of re-localizing food dollars by utilizing Michigan’s existing cornucopia to meet consumer demand for fresh produce. In a state with many economic woes, a more localized and sustainable food system can play a critical role in establishing a stable economic future.
FarmAid Report: " Rebuilding America’s Economy with Family Farm-Centered Food Systems", http://www.farmaid.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=qlI5IhNVJsE&b=2723877&ct=8540339¬oc=1, viewed July 28, 2010
Example story from Cantrell, Conner, Erickcek, & Hamm, " Eat Fresh and Grow Jobs, Michigan", Beulah, Michigan, Michigan Land Use Institute, C.S. Mott Group. September 2006, http://www.mlui.org/farms/fullarticle.asp?fileid=17086, viewed July 28, 2010